Snapchat: The Attention Factor

Branding questions to ask yourself in 2018_ What's your big, hairy, goal?-18.png

The platform which rose to prominence as the “sexting app” is winning the attention graph. Initially dominated by a 13-25 year old user base, Snapchat is now ageing up and finding its place in mainstream culture and marketing strategies for businesses and big brands.

It’s time to start taking Snapchat seriously and deploy your marketing strategy.

Here’s some data to prove our point:

  1. Snapchat is now more popular among teens than Facebook. According to a new Piper Jaffray survey 19 percent of teens said that Snapchat was the most important social network. Instagram lead the pack with 33 percent and Facebook at 15 percent.
  2. Snapchat receives 7 billion video views per day. Facebook only receives 8 billion video views per day, even though they have 10 times more daily users than Snapchat.
  3. Snapchat has 100 million daily active users.
  4. Cosmopolitan, who has a placement on Snapchat Discover, is averaging 3 million viewers a day according to Digiday.
  5. Of the 3 million viewers of Cosmo’s story, 72% click through to watch every story.


Consumer reach on the platform is astronomical. In a world where the best email open rates fall between 15-25% and Instagram engagement is 2-5%, Snapchat engagement is easily 80%. Celebrity and entrepreneur Jonathan Cheban recently commented in his Snapchat Story that he was getting 200 thousand views on each Story. Compare this to his Instagram following of 1.5 million users, which only translates to an average of 10-15 thousand likes per picture. From a marketer’s perspective, paying social media influencers for product placement in their Snapchat story is a no brainer. Would you rather pay for 10 thousand likes, or 200 thousand views on your product or service?

For those who argue that likes are more valuable than views due to the effort it takes to engage, Snapchat trumps this notion due to the fact that users have to choose which user they want to view, and then click through a story. So, users are specifically seeking out an influencer to see what they have to say, and then choosing to engage with their story.

Growing a Snapchat Following

At this point, Snapchat has no organic search function to seek out new users to follow. Therefore, you need to utilise the followers you have on other platforms and direct them to follow you on Snapchat.

There are a few ways to do this.

  1. Screenshot your Snapcode and share this across your other platforms. You can find this by swiping up on your Snapchat home screen. Make sure you provide your audience instructions on how to add you via Snapcode.

Screenshot this Image > Open Snapchat > Add Friends > Add by Snapcode > Choose Screenshot from Camera Roll

 Follow us on Snapchat at "whitelanepr"

Follow us on Snapchat at "whitelanepr"

2.    Create a compelling, interesting story on Snapchat, download a portion of it and share across platforms. Show users what they are missing out on by not following you and always provide a call to action with your username or Snapcode.

3.    Partner with Snapchat influencers. Seek out users who already command an impressive following that is related to your industry and try to negotiate a shout out. 

Marketing Strategy

What brands need to realise, and invest in, is that Snapchat Stories need creative energy to develop strategic content that still feels like a 'real time' connection. Due to the immediate and intimate nature of Snapchat, users will reject content that feels staged or scripted. Where brands are failing in this area is trying to communicate content that they've had success with on Instagram, across to their Snapchat audience. Let me be clear: what works for Instagram does not work for Snapchat. Lose the lighting, practiced speech and good filters for a honest view into your brands culture. This can be a behind the scenes, humorous, shaky video in selfie mode. It works. It communicates effectively on the platform. Respect what works on the platform your using. 

But then how can I sell? We repeat this often: Engage first; sell last. Once your brand is an established publisher of content (effective content) across platforms, consumers will be more receptive to your sales pitch. Keep it short, sweet, and creatively include it into your Snapchat Story in a way that doesn't scream "BUY THIS NOW". 

Have you deployed a Snapchat strategy yet? Comment below.